Jamaica Moves Road Tour Goes To Manchester

Photo: Yhomo Hutchinson Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton (right), joins in an exercise session at the launch of the ‘National Baking Company Moves’ held on July 21 at the company’s Half-Way Tree Road address in Kingston. The company answered the call by the Minister for corporate involvement in the ‘Jamaica Moves’ campaign, which encourages Jamaicans to incorporate physical exercise into their daily routine.

Story Highlights

  • The Jamaica Moves Campaign Road Tour will be heading to Mandeville, Manchester, on Thursday, October 5.
  • According to Dr. Tufton, Jamaica Moves was borne out of a need to focus on the preventive side of healthcare as opposed to the curative side, which involves hospital care.    
  • He noted that the campaign has had a strong presence in mainstream and social media and persons have been deployed to companies to sensitise workers to the importance of physical activity and healthy eating habits.

The Jamaica Moves Campaign Road Tour will be heading to Mandeville, Manchester, on Thursday, October 5.

Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon Christopher Tufton, will give the keynote address at the opening ceremony, which is scheduled to take place on the Mandeville Greens beginning at 4:00 pm.

The day’s activities will begin with a two-kilometre (2K) Walk/Run at 7:00 a.m. Screenings will be ongoing from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., where patrons will receive prostate, breast and cervical cancer tests.

There will be blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, HIV and body mass index checks as well.

The parish tour is a key component of the Jamaica Moves programme, aimed at getting nationals to become more physically active in order to reduce the prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

Dr. Tufton told JIS News that the Ministry is looking to complete the tours by early 2018.

“We have already done a few parishes, with the intention of completing all by March 2018. We have a large event in the town square, we do the screenings and what I consider to be quite fun – a series of exercise routines with instructors, and there is participation of the audience as we sell the message of physical activity,” he noted.

According to Dr. Tufton, Jamaica Moves was borne out of a need to focus on the preventive side of healthcare as opposed to the curative side, which involves hospital care.

He said studies suggest that half an hour per day of some kind of physical activity such as swimming, hiking, running, jogging or walking is beneficial to long-term health.

 

“What this involves is really trying to change lifestyles,” Dr. Tufton said.  “It’s a process, so you start with the children, because they are easiest to influence. You generate some sort of activity that is continuous and, hopefully, through messaging and demonstration, you get more people to develop the lifestyle habits and patterns that reduce their risk,” he added.

He noted that the programme, which was officially launched in April, has been going very well.

“We find fun ways to do it so… it is not viewed as a chore but is rather something that people can enjoy. It promotes people getting their annual checkup so they know their health status, which is a big part of solving or avoiding health issues,” he noted.

In addition to the health checks, which are primarily done during the parish tours, the programme involves sensitising Jamaicans to NCDs and identifying role models to get the message out to the public.

Jamaicans were invited to participate in an individual challenge and there is a corporate challenge, which was launched recently.

Close to 30 companies have already signed up for the corporate challenge, which involves a circuit of six run/walks managed by Running Events Limited, ending with the Reggae Marathon in Negril in December.

Employees will be given points for participation and placement. At the end of the circuit, a corporate challenge winner will emerge.

According to Minister Tufton, a healthier employee is a more productive employee, and the challenge promotes good teamwork and good fun.

He noted that the campaign has had a strong presence in mainstream and social media and persons have been deployed to companies to sensitise workers to the importance of physical activity and healthy eating habits.

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